Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thursday Thirteen 414: Poetry

One of the criteria on the 2016 Ultimate Challenge list this year is a book of poetry. During the library's December monthly book sale, I happened across an edition of The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis in like new condition . . . for only a dollar. Naturally, I snapped it up. The book is divided into different sections, beginning with easy "childhood" poems, and ending with a few Jacqueline Kennedy wrote herself. I had encountered at least half of the poems previously, in one class or another, and had read some poets, though perhaps not the poem(s) contained in this volume. I would recommend it as a good place to start for those not very familiar with poetic works.

As April is National Poetry Month, I thought I would share a few of the poems from the book -- click on any link to read the full text of a poem.




01. The Gift Outright by Robert Frost

02. Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(I think most children in the US used to read this long poem in elementary school, but I don't know if that is still true.)

03. Fog by Carl Sandburg
(We learned this short one in 4th grade, at a school named for the poet. It has been likened to a haiku.)

04. The Swing by Robert Louis Stevenson
(A favorite, and one of the earliest poems I remember reading.)

05. The Crocodile by Lewis Carroll

06. Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe
(Probably his most popular poem, after The Raven -- though my personal favorite, not included in the book, is The Bells.)

07. Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams
(Another I remember from high school, 9th grade to be exact)

08. One Art by Elizabeth Bishop
(I especially like the first stanza of this one)

09. Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
(I had to do a high school report on this poet/poem -- he wrote this upon waking from a drug-induced nap.)

10. The Passionate Shepherd by Christopher Marlowe

11. Her Reply by Sir Walter Raleigh
(I mention number 10 and 11 as we not only read them in a college poetry course, but then had to break into groups of three and write a response to a poem assigned by the professor. There was another occasion we broke into groups to write a parody of a poem assigned by the professor. Two of the funnest exercises ever!)

12. The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes
(I don't recall if I first saw this one in high school or in college, When I read it this time around, I could hear Morgan Freeman speaking the words in my head -- he has the perfect voice for it. Another I liked from the book that I don't recall seeing before is Merry-Go-Round.)

13. Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley
(Another read in high school and college)




Are any of these familiar to you? Do you have a favorite poet or poem?




LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen





Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Wordless Wednesday 214: Wild Turkeys

Okay, mostly wordless, but these did require a bit of explanation.




A wild turkey hen


Wild turkey in a crabapple tree. Apparently, dried 
crabapples are a main staple of their diet in winter 
and spring, so it is not uncommon to see them in trees.


A tom turkey struts his stuff at the UW Arboretum.



LINKING TO:

Wordless Wednesday





Teaser Tuesday 309: Chance of a Ghost

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



This week’s teaser is from Chance of a Ghost by EJ Copperman, part of a paranormal mystery series.


“Are you out of your mind?” I demanded. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my most original or well-purposed question; has anyone ever answered in the affirmative to that one?

(Chapter 24)

~*~*~*~

There was suddenly no floor under my feet. That came as something of a surprise for the feet in question, I have to tell you, and they didn’t take kindly to it.

(Chapter 28)




ABOUT THE BOOK:
Series: Haunted Guesthouse #4

Even with a blizzard bearing down on New Jersey, Alison can count on at least two guests — Paul and Maxie, the stubborn ghosts who share her shore town inn. Then there’s her widowed mother, who hasn’t just been seeing ghosts, she’s been secretly dating one: Alison’s father. But when he stands her up three times in a row, something’s wrong. Is he a lost soul . . . or a missing apparition?

Their only lead is an overdramatic spirit — stage name Lawrence Laurentz — who doesn’t take direction well and won’t talk until they find his killer. Alison reluctantly plays the part of PI, but when the clues take a sinister turn, the writing is on the wall: if Alison can’t keep a level head, this will be her father’s final act — and maybe her own.




Sunday, April 24, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Skywatch Friday 145

While visiting the Arboretum last Sunday, I spied
this red-tailed hawk atop the visitor center. 


She's not headless, merely preening her feathers.


Surveying her domain . . .


Preparing for take-off -- I just missed catching her in flight.




LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday




Thursday Thirteen 413: A Day at Longenecker

Some warmer weather has finally arrived! I took advantage of fair skies and warm temps to make my first visit to the UW Arboretum of the year. The tunnel connecting one side to the other is fairly disgusting (probably a good thing it's unlighted!), but skirting the northern edge of Curtis Prairie I caught my first glorious glimpse of Longenecker Garden -- the magnolia are in bloom! Here are a few pics from my visit:




Magnolia trees seen from Curtis Prairie.




One of my favorite photos of the day.










The dogwood trees are nearly done blooming. 


Chinese Cherry trees are also in bloom


A few pasqueflowers were still blooming in the native plants
garden on the south side of the visitor center. 


Rue Anemone, north side of the visitor
 center and in Gallistel Woods.




Prairie Smoke, blooming outside the main entrance
to the McKay Visitor Center. 



Come back tomorrow, and next Wednesday and Friday, for more photos from this visit.


LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen





Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Teaser Tuesday 308: Fire Touched

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



This week’s teaser comes from the first paragraph of Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs, part of her “Mercy Thompson” series -- and an excellent addition it was.


I sat up in bed, a feeling of urgency gripping my stomach in iron claws. Body stiff with tension, I listened for whatever had awakened me, but the early-summer night was free of unusual noises.

(Chapter one)








ABOUT THE BOOK:
Series: Mercy Thompson

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?





Thursday, April 14, 2016

Skywatch Friday 144







LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday





Thursday Thirteen 412: Recently Read

Here’s a look at what I’ve read since mid-February through last week. As always, click on any cover or link for more info.















ABOUT THE BOOKS:


ROW 1
: The first two books are both by Julie Hyzy, and all three counted towards monthly mini challenges. One of the Hyzy books also counted towards a 2016 Ultimate category, a book set during summer.

ROW 2: More cozy mysteries for mini challenges. Sheila Connolly was the Featured Cozy Author back in Oct 2015. While I read two of her books then, I still have several in Mount TBR to go. This catches me up on at least one of her many series. An Early Wake also counted towards the 2016 Ultimate Challenge (book set on an island). With Wicked Stitch and The Stitching Hour, I am also now caught up on this series by Amanda Lee.

ROW 3: Jacqueline Winspear was the March Featured Cozy Author. I enjoyed this first book in her series, an historical mystery set during and after WWI, but wish it had come with a tissue warning. It also counted towards the Ultimate Challenge (book set in Europe), and I do want to track down the next book in the series. Major Pettigrew was a February group read and I quite enjoyed it -- would definitely recommend it (Ultimate: Book with a blue cover). Northern Lights was the February read for a Nora Roberts group, and also counted towards a mini challenge for oldest book in Mount TBR — I’ve been meaning to read it for more than a decade and am surprised it took me so long, seeing as it is set in Alaska.

ROW 4: Fire Touched is a recent release by Patricia Briggs (Ultimate: book published in 2016), and I enjoyed it as much as I have all her Mercy Thompson books. The first chapter had me in stitches. Abandoned is the prequel to Amanda Stevens' “Graveyard Queen” series, which I read in anticipation of the March publication of the fourth book in the series, which I do not yet possess. I look forward to reading it, and the next two books in the series, though. Hard Knocks is also a series prequel, this one by Lori Foster. I have not yet read any of the books in the “Ultimate” series, though a friend does have book one.

ROW 5: Walking is a classic short work by Henry David Thoreau, the text of which meanders as ones thoughts might on a long walk.


Your turn: What are you reading?




LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen





Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Wordless Wednesday 212: Snow Bunny

From February 01, 2016 -- Kept forgetting to post these . . .
















LINKING TO:

Wordless Wednesday




Teaser Tuesday 307: Northern Lights

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



My teaser for this week comes from a Nora Roberts book, Northern Lights, which has been on my “to-read” list more than a decade now—which surprises me, seeing as how it is set in Alaska, a setting I love to read about. I finally got round to reading a borrowed copy, and it did not disappoint.


"I had to leave them, to get help. Had to leave them with the dead man."

(Chapter 8)











ABOUT THE BOOK:

Lunacy was Nate Burke's last chance. As a Baltimore cop, he'd watched his partner die on the street-and the guilt still haunts him. With nowhere else to go, he accepts the job as Chief of Police in this tiny, remote Alaskan town. Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose, he finds his first weeks on the job are relatively quiet. But just as he wonders whether this has been all a big mistake, an unexpected kiss on New Year's Eve under the brilliant Northern Lights of the Alaska sky lifts his spirit and convinces him to stay just a little longer.

Meg Galloway, born and raised in Lunacy, is used to being alone. She was a young girl when her father disappeared, and she has learned to be independent, flying her small plane, living on the outskirts of town with just her huskies for company. After her New Year's kiss with the Chief of Police, she allows herself to give in to passion-while remaining determined to keep things as simple as possible. But there's something about Nate's sad eyes that gets under her skin and warms her frozen heart.

And now, things in Lunacy are heating up. Years ago, on one of the majestic mountains shadowing the town, a crime occurred that is unsolved to this day-and Nate suspects that a killer still walks the snowy streets. His investigation will unearth the secrets and suspicions that lurk beneath the placid surface, as well as bring out the big-city survival instincts that made him a cop in the first place. And his discovery will threaten the new life-and the new love-that he has finally found for himself.




Sunday, April 10, 2016